Indie hip-hop artists Coolzey & Soce The Elemental Wizard team up to take on the tough guy persona.
Wanting to know more about “Tough Guy,” and the unique video for the song, we caught up with Coolzey and Soce to ask them about both.
Let’s talk about “Tough Guy.” What inspired the song?
Coolzey: As far as the material goes, I've just had it with toxic masculinity in my lifetime. I feel like I've had a proverbial penis in my face as long as I can remember. Right now I'm in a place, however, where when something that irks me stews long enough it eventually bubbles up in a comedic way rather than an angry song.
What inspired the style? Ever since I had this crazy idea to try and become a Frank Sinatra impersonating wedding singer with a license to marry – I followed through as far as getting the license and learning a bunch of Sinatra songs – I've had more and more crooning seep into my act.
On my last tour I kept getting called “lounge rap” and one guy enthusiastically dubbed me “The Robert Goulet of Rap.” I've decided to embrace it and this song is a great example of the style.
Soce: I find it fascinating, the fraternal world that many men embrace, whether in hip-hop, gangs, universities, the workplace, or any other area where large groups of men congregate. There's often a vibe of "I love you like a brother, and I'll do anything for you, but I'll also beat up a bunch of guys, as well, to show how strong I am.”
I think that attitude is unnecessary. People should just relax, and not always be looking to pick fights.
As for the beat itself, it was inspired by a very peppy soundtrack to a video game I was playing at the time.
Tell us about the video for “Tough Guy.” Who is your dancer, and what kind of CraigsList ad did you post to find someone who can do wild interpretive dance to hip-hop while wearing a jock strap?
C: I met the mysterious J on Tinder in LA, actually. I followed her Instagram (@aqueefthief) and became an instant fan of her androgynous, goofy dance videos, and strange sexual pottery.
We've only spoken through electronic devices, and have never met in person.
She told me flat out from the start that she wasn't going to have sex with me, and we became friends over our weird senses of humor. She is part of the Echo Park based dance troop RAID (Random Acts of Irreverent Dance) and the @bootiela mashup dance night.
There’s a scene involving a can of PBR, and I just have to ask, would you ever drink a PBR that had been stored in that way? Personally, I imagine it would no longer be able to be referred to as a “cold one.”
C: Depends on how desperate I was. I used to be a huge germaphobe, but I've kind of let it go a bit as I get older and experience more and more gross shit.
As far as warm beer, no problem there. Warm beer and cold pizza is a good breakfast.
S: It brings back happy memories. We used to serve warm PBR during the shows of my first band, Y-Bomb (we were described as Wu Tang meets Dave Matthews).
“Tough Guy” is off of your recently released EP, Coolsay Too. This isn’t the first time you two have worked together. What do you feel you bring out in each other as artists?
C: Soce's beats are so fun to me. They make it very easy to divine themes, and run the gamut of serious to silly. His instrumentation and melodies keep me writing even when I don't want to.
S: I love seeing where Coolzey goes with my tracks. He always ends up telling stories that I would never expect, but need to hear.
This song is actually a bit ironic, because Coolzey himself is quite a tough, manly, guy, yet he's also a very sensitive and artistic soul.
What else can people look forward to from Coolsay Too?
C: A zombie apocalypse duet song with Schaffer the Darklord (“Would You Kill Me If I Turned?”). A comedy rap style job interview song with DJ Douggpound and Jesse Dangerously (“Another Guy”). More lounge rap featuring Cat Greenfield (“Start the Show”), and probably the most nerdcore song I've ever written (“Literally Ill”).
S: I believe there will be another music video soon where I make a cameo, doing something odd, most likely.
Listen to more exclusive tunes by visiting our Premiere page.